House dust sensitization has gained increasing recognition in the etiology of bronchial asthma and hay-fever during the last four years. Hay, grain and feed dusts as well as dusts with which bakers, millers, wood workers and other artisans come in contact may also cause marked symptoms. However, attention in this article will be focused on house dusts that are the most important of this group.
Kern1 in 1921 first called attention to house dust sensitization, especially to the dust of bedrooms. He felt that many patients diagnosed by Walker as having nonsensitive asthmatic bronchitis were probably sensitive to house dust. He recommended routine tests with dust extracts especially in cases in which other skin tests were negative.Cooke2 in 1922 published his observations on house dust sensitization. He reported a case of asthma of fourteen years' duration in a man, aged 26, who gave no positive skin reactions except